Today one citizen was wounded and dozens suffered tear gas inhalation due to clashes that took place in the West Bank village of Bil’in. Peace activists and international supporters marched alongside village residents in the weekly demonstration against the wall and settlements, and in solidarity with activist Abdullah Abu Rahma, who was refused release by the Israeli military court of Ofer even after his sentence expired.
The march participants carried Palestinian flags and pictures of Abu Rahma, coordinator of the Popular Committee Against the Wall in Bil’in, and chanted slogans condemning the policy of occupation, settlement expansion, and repression against the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. They also chanted slogans condemning the attacks on the houses of Jerusalem, plus calls to stop the policy of deportation and exclusionand to release all detainees and political prisoners, particularly those involved in the non-violent resistance.
The demonstrators marched from the village while calling for unity and rejection of differences, and confirmed the need for a resounding Palestinian resistance to occupation and freedom for Palestine.
The march headed toward the wall, where the military force of the Israeli occupation army was waiting behind concrete blocks. They had closed the gate of the wall with barbed wire. The army fired sound bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas at them from all directions, resulting in injury to 18-year-old Kamel Khatib, who was shot in the hip by a rubber-coated metal bullet. Dozens of participants experienced suffocation and the effects of tear gas inhalation.
The Popular Committee Against the Wall in Bil’in calls for condemnation of the military court’s refusal to release Abdullah Abu Rahma, and appeals to the international community and international human rights organizations to stand with Abu Rahma, whose prison term has expired yet still remains in jail.